Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jerusalem and Minas Tirith.

My mom and I were doing our Bible Study this morning, and we were reading in 2 Chronicles (and 2 Kings) about King Hezekiah, of Judah.
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but the Assyrians still invaded Judah during his reign. Sennacherib, King of Assyria, did lots of horrible things to the people of Lachish, and then continued on to Jerusalem. But King Hezekiah, prayed to God (2 Kings 19 - it's a really great prayer, go check it out) and an angel went out and put to death 185,000 of Sennacherib's soldiers, and Sennacherib withdrew to Nineveh and stayed there (and proceeded to draw the whole thing on his palace wall - except for the part where all his men get killed).

The Siege of Lachish, as depicted on Sennacherib's palace walls.
While we were studying this, I got to thinking...
I'm reading The Return of the King and I'm trying to pick out allegories, because some people say that they are there, and some people say that they aren't. I've found one or two plausible ones, and then I got to thinking about Minas Tirith, in relation to the Jerusalem of Hezekiah's reign.
Both Jerusalem and Minas Tirith were major cities. You could say that they are the capitals of their region (Jerusalem of Judah, and Minas Tirith of Gondor).
Both Jerusalem and Minas Tirith have guard cities, which were taken out by the enemy.
Jerusalem had several cities, on different sides, that served as 'guard' cities. One such example was Lachish. It protected the valley that lead to Jerusalem. If Lachish fell, there would be an open passageway to Jerusalem.
In Lord of the Rings, Osgiliath served much the same purpose as Lachish. It used to be the capital of Gondor, but was abandoned for Minas Tirith. During the War of the Ring, Gondor and Mordor fought many times over the city, with Mordor eventually prevailing for a short time.
In the same way, Sennacherib took over Lachich, killing most of the inhabitants, and leading the survivors back to Assyria by rings pierced through their lips.
Both cities are relatively near water... Lachish is near the Via Maris, and though Jerusalem is a bit father away, they still show on the same map together (at least in my book). Also Jerusalem is very near the Dead Sea.
Minas Tirith is near the Great River, Anduin.
Both cities have two walls.
In 2 Chronicles 32: 5, it says,
Then he (King Hezekiah) worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the supporting terraces of the City of David.
Similarly, the city of Minas Tirith has it's outside wall, and also the wall/fence surrounding the Pelennor (which is a big field).
Both cities were laid siege to, but won their battles.
Jerusalem did so by the Grace of God, and solely with His help.
Minas Tirith did so with the help of Rohan, it's neighboring kingdom, and with the men following Aragorn.
I don't know if Tolkien was influenced by this particular part in the Bible, but I thought it was cool to find the parallels.
Live long and prosper!

1 comment:

  1. Those are VERY cool! I read somewhere that he didn't want to make his books allegories, but I think he sometimes did it anyways without really knowing. I bet he did get some ideas for the cities from the Bible...It would be fun to try and find out just where he gathered each idea from.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts on my site!!! That was a huge help!

    Also, yes, more people die. Lots of more people. MAWHAHAHAHAHA...I should work on my evil laugh.